If you follow me online, you may have noticed I’ve lost some weight.
About 17 kilos all up.
That’s a small human, an obese dog, or nearly a large sack of cement mix. (I know because I went to Bunnings and tried to pick on up. Damn that shit is heavy).
And while I’m not Kate Moss skinny, I certainly look at lot different.
My bum doesn’t clear tables as I squeeze through cafes.
My formerly glorious boobs are a shadow of their former selves. (They’re now pretty much concave.)
And my Donald Trumpesque chinnage has receded somewhat.
But the truth is that although I’ve changed on the outside, I’ve changed even more on the inside.
And in this post, I’m going to tell you how losing the weight created a real shift in my business.
I’ve had a bit of backlash online for even daring to mention that I’ve lost weight. If you want to read what I think about that, head here.
So before I get into this post, I want to stress that I am in NO WAY dissing fat folk.
(I’ve been one for ages, and I’m not about to mess with my people.)
HOW DID YOU DO IT?
Okay, let’s get this bit out of the way first. What’s my secret?
I’m not a dietician or an exercise guru, and I have no intention of posting pictures of green smoothies on Instagram.
(Okay I did it once, as proof. But I didn’t actually finish the smoothie, so I’m a fraud).
I’m not about to hand out diet advice to any of you.
My guess is you know what you need to do to shed some pounds. If you want to. And if you don’t that’s cool too.
I don’t have a secret. I just did the obvious things.
A combination of not eating as much, giving up booze, cutting out most carbs, and exercising more. A lot more. I used Optifast shakes for several weeks and did intermittent fasting.
I also slept like a MF.
That’s it. Boring, eh?
The only difference with this time, to all the times before is that I stuck at it, I’m sticking at it. 6 months down the track.
Okay, let’s move on.
MY CHUBBY JOURNEY
I’ve never been a thin person.
(A previous boyfriend told me I was “built for comfort, not for speed”. What a twunt he was.)
I’ve hovered around a size 12-14 all my life.
I’ve always had big boobs, squidgy bits and a muffin top.
I put on weight when I was pregnant, and lost most of it soon after.
Then about six years ago I ran a half marathon because my good friend asked me to.
I trained rigorously. I was fit. I could run 16k without breaking a sweat.
But when the marathon finished, I decided to take a few days off. Six years and 25 kilos later, I was pretty unhappy with myself.
The weight crept up on me, and with every kilo I felt a little more powerless.
I tried half-heartedly to lose weight, but it felt un-come-back-fromable.
It was my own fault but I seemed unable to stop myself.
HOW BEING FAT AFFECTED ME
I’m not against being overweight.
You’ll find no judgement here.
I believe you can be fat and smart.
Fat and successful.
Fat and happy.
Fat and great at what you do.
But I wasn’t happy.
I didn’t feel good about myself.
I believed it would be impossible for people to take me seriously as a chubby person.
(I now don’t think anyone actually gave a crap, but my feelings back then powerful things.)
And while I built my business up from a one-horse copywriting stable to a mega uber business (sort of) in those six years I was chubby, I found it tough being the face of my business.
Yes, I still did Facebook lives.
Yes, I still pitched up at events and spoke on stage.
And yes, I still made videos for my website, even though it was physically painful to edit them and see myself on camera.
(They say it adds five pounds, but I couldn’t blame it for the other 50.)
It wasn’t so much the weight that irked me, but the fact I couldn’t commit to my weight loss goal.
I’d set business goals and smash them. But ask me to hit a weight target and I’d fail.
I’d get up at 5am for a conference call. But ask me to get up early for a trip to the gym and I’d hit the ‘Snooze’ button.
I could discipline myself when it came to work. But not when it came to food and booze.
The weight represented my weakness – a visible, visceral indication of my lack of willpower.
The final straw came after an event, when I received my ‘speaker photos’.
I didn’t even recognise myself.
Something had to change.
SO WHAT CHANGED?
I want to live long enough to see my son grow up and terrify me by travelling to strange places and dating inappropriate girls/boys.
But my weight was leading me down a path to some serious illnesses.
And I was fed up with feeling rubbish every day.
So I made a decision, and for once, I stuck with it.
I’m not sure what clicked.
It just did. And here I am.
Again sorry I don’t have a magic answer here, it wasn’t a book or a guided medication, just a personal realisation.
HOW MY WEIGHT LOSS BECAME MY BUSINESS GAIN
So here are a few ways I’ve changed since losing the weight:
1. More energy
My appalling diet left me feeling grotty every day. I got myself going with coffee (two sugars) and shut myself down with wine.
Drinking with the dog is social drinking, right?
I’m genuinely a happier human. I used to fly into rages—screaming at my computer, shouting at my husband, snapping at my son, and gently cursing my dog.
And while I’m not some Zen cow of calm,
I’m definitely more relaxed now.
I’ve put off getting headshots for the past five years because I didn’t like my head. But I just booked a new shoot. And it feels good.
I also feel more confident about speaking at events and conferences. (I’ve never been turned down for a speaking gig, so my weight has sweet FA to do with it. But I know I resisted applying for some out of fear.)
Honestly, I feel proud of myself. I felt my weight gain was out of control, like the feeling when you’re running down a steep hill and your legs are moving without you making them move.
Now I feel like I’m back in the driving seat of my own body. I set myself a task, and FOR ONCE I followed through.
I finally managed to apply my business mind strength to my own self.
SOME OF THE DOWNSIDES
Losing the weight means I now spend less time working on my business.
It takes time to plan what you’re going to eat (I make myself a lunchbox each day) and squeeze in exercise.
I’ve had to spend time working at my weight loss just like I spend time working at my business.
I’m no longer willing to sacrifice my health on the ever-hungry altar of my business.
Also let’s be honest, it’s a lot more fun eating what you want.
I realise now that losing weight hasn’t in reality changed my business as much as many might think it would.
I don’t have more customers.
I’m not doing more things or earning more money.
I’m still just me.
The people that matter liked me and bought from me when I was chubby and they buy from me still.
The kind of person who likes me more now because I’m skinny, well I’m not sure they’re my kind of person.
I’ve seen a few snide comments and post about my weight loss. That I’m someone letting the side down or that I’m shallow for even caring.
But the truth is that while I’d love to think that how we look shouldn’t matter in the business world. I know that for many it does.
If I’d suddenly got smarter or funnier I’m sure people wouldn’t be so judgy.
But because I’ve lost weight I’m some how selling out?
I don’t think so.
I lost weight because I was unhappy and unwell. It’s has a positive impact on my attitude and my business. I’m all good with that. If you’re not, well, you do you.
MY CHUBBY EPHIHANY
I’ve come to the realisation that in truth, it was never about the weight.
It was about putting myself first.
Being brave enough to prioritise myself over my family, my dog, the house, the chores and my business.
My business was eating my life, leaving me to eat everything else.
The self-control is what I craved.
The weight loss is a bonus.
This will probably be my last health-related post. For me, eating well and exercising isn’t something that comes naturally. I’m learning to love it, but I’ll never be a raving fan sharing my quinoa cooking tips.
Over to you
Do you have part of your life you can’t get control of? Do you think losing or gaining weight and would change your business?
Let me know in the comments.
P.S. I really wanted to use the line “How I lost pounds and gained dollars” (thanks Gemma Hawdon), but I’m not financially better off as a thinner human.
P.P.S Thanks to Charlotte Calder and the Clever Copywriting crew for helping me brainstorm this article’s headline. Damn I love you guys.